Friday, July 31, 2009

Lies for the Liars

My apologies again for flaking on a good post yesterday. No really good excuses for you: I slept in kind of late and made muffins and watched So You Think You Can Dance on my laptop and then Boyfriend was home and we went to go see his brother Bob the Builder's new house and were there for about 3 hours. No brilliant post today either because we are getting showered then heading down to Turk's and Stylez's place for that Mexican dinner and karaoke session I mentioned the other day. I'm going to try and get pictures of everything and post them after the weekend. Hope you all have a great weekend, too!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Little Lies

Ok, so maybe I lied. Maybe I won't get to the surf shop post today, but that's because LC and little Lo are coming over for a visit! I might still get it posted later this afternoon or tonight, but if not then I will try and have it up tomorrow. It's probably not super exciting to anyone but me so I probably shouldn't even worry that it didn't make it up this morning, but I hate saying I'm going to do something and then not following through.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daydream Believer

Normally our mornings consist of waking up anywhere between 4:50-5:30 a.m. depending on the train Boyfriend is catching that morning. I drag my butt out of bed and make him breakfast (2 crumpets with butter and vegemite-ick-and a glass of orange juice and a travel mug of coffee for the train, if you were curious) and make sure his lunch is thrown in his bag while he takes a shower or gets dressed. I then sit with him and watch the news until he has to leave then I hop back in to bed, maybe check my email, cuddle the still warmish hot water bottle, and fall back to sleep.
That's how it normally goes.
This morning, with only one day left at Boyfriend's current job, we got up, I made the breakfast, he got dressed, we watched the news, he left, I checked emails, I cuddled the hot water bottle, and I laid here, and I laid here some more, and I didn't not fall asleep for two hours. My eyes were closed but I was not blissed out and unconscious. Instead, I daydreamed about the stuff I would've liked to have been dreaming about: my wedding and working at the surf shop. I won't share with you the wedding plans because I'm not even engaged yet and some of you will probably find it creepy that I've got most of my wedding planned out (but only if it's to Boyfriend, it's very us and would change if I eventually met and married someone else) and I don't want to jinx it, either. So tomorrow I think that I will finally write about my nearly 3 years of working at Jack's Surfboards.
By the way, like a champ, I eventually did fall asleep. I dreamt about some of the guys I worked with at Jack's, but they were bad guys come to drink all the alcohol at my parent's house and steal their stuff, which wasn't like my daydreams at all!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Manic Monday

Every Monday that Boyfriend has lived here I remind him that he needs to leave work by 5:50 so he doesn't miss the train that goes directly to Morisset (his stop) and every Monday he has managed to miss it, either because he has been running late or the trains have been running late or just cancelled all together. Today was no exception, this time his train from Kings Cross to Central had been cancelled; no reason given, just cancelled. I probably won't be seeing him until about 10:30 tonight. I made a kickass dinner, though, and it'll be waiting here for him when he gets home. I usually wait for him when he's running late, but tonight I ate dinner without him. On the menu: rice, baby asparagus, and asian barbecue chicken. I thought the chicken was pretty yum so I want to share the recipe from Cooking Light with you guys.

Asian Barbecue Chicken (I used the Cooking Light site's picture because the picture from my camera phone wasn't as pretty)

Ingredients (serves 4, I did it for 2)

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper....I used a pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 (6-ounce) chicken thighs, skinned...I used 2 large chicken breasts
  • Cooking spray
  • Lime wedges (optional)....didn't use
  • Green onion tops (optional)....didn't use

In a bowl mix the sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, pepper, garlic, and curry powder. Pierce chicken and then pour mixture over it and let marinade in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. I think I marinated mine for about 6-7 hours. Pour off the sauce in to a pot and heat it until boiling. You can then either grill the chicken on the barbecue or cook it in a pan on the stove, brushing it with the sauce as it cooks. Then you can garnish it with lime wedges and green onion tops if you like.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I am the Eggman, They are the Eggmen, I am the Walrus

This Friday all 12 of us in the group got together, plus Baby Lo, for LC and Bob Marley's first night out again with the group. We went out to dinner and then headed back to Croc and the Teacher's place to hang out. Croc and the Soccer Player had been out shooting the weekend before. They hunt feral animals like foxes, pigs, and goats, as well as kangaroos who are breeding out of control. This trip they shot mostly pigs and saw lots of emus sitting on nests. The boys were told once an emu is disturbed off its nest, they don't tend to come back to it so Croc took an egg from one of the nests that they had accidentally scared an emu off of. I asked to see it and that's it in the picture. Upclose it is really dark blue with light blue flecks. I gagged the first time I shook the egg because you could hear the little emu's head clunking against the side of the shell. Croc wants to get an incubator and raise a few emus out on his mom and dad's property eventually.

Boyfriend and I had planned to go ice skating over the weekend because we have been having some pretty dull ones lately with Boyfriend having to work and us being broke. When we got up, we had a message from Croc saying come over to his place and hang out with him and the Teacher and all of the Teacher's Sydney friends for the night. We felt like maybe we were getting a pity invite since Croc thought we had "Fuck all" to do for the night, but they assured us that it wasn't and to come on over. So we grocery shopped and decided to put ice skating off til the next day.

We arrived at Croc and the Teacher's to find a campfire in the backyard (they live in a townhouse and have a tiny backyard, too!) which had a lamb and then beef roasted in a camp oven on it. There was also a rotisserie spit and it had a chicken and a piglet that Croc and the Soccer Player had shot the weekend before on it. There were also yabbies that had been steamed. Yabbies look like tiny little lobsters and are the same as crayfish or related to them. I had a bite of one of the claws and it tasted like crab to me, while Boyfriend had a bite of the tail and said that bit tasted like shrimp. The Teacher's friends were all nice and easy to talk soon so the night was moving along fairly quickly. Croc asked Boyfriend if we'd like to stay the night so they could get drunk together and I said I didn't mind. I wasn't really drinking, I had less than 2 glasses of wine the whole night. At 1opm exactly, Croc and the Teacher's next door neighbor came over and asked us to keep it down. You could barely hear the music we were playing inside and we had only had the didgeridoo outside for about 5 minutes when they came over. It was a rager my no means and it was 10pm on a Saturday night! I couldn't believe how uptight the neighbors were. After the Teacher's friends left, we sat out by the campfire for another hour or so then headed off to bed.

I went to bed with a headache and my stomach was not feeling right. I laid in bed for forever wondering if I was going to be sick or not, and if I was-why, but finally drifted off for a little bit. Then I woke back up feeling really gross and tried to breathe it out and I finally jumped out of bed and said to Boyfriend that I was going to be sick. So I ran down the stairs in my socks and a peacoat and only just made it to the bathroom where I puked up a whole lot. Boyfriend hates throw up (who doesn't?) and started gagging as soon as he came in to the bathroom...haha, makes me laugh to think about it. But we got it cleaned up and went back to bed. When we got up in the morning I apologized to Croc and the Teacher in case I had woken them up but they didn't hear me at all so that was good. We went home, took showers, then went back to bed. Boyfriend asked if I wanted to go ice skating, but I wasn't up for it. He then asked if I wanted to go see a movie, but nothing was playing at the right time and movies are $16.50 a piece here now so I said let's just rent a movie. He went out to run errands and I laid around. I felt like the room was spinning and decided to go back to sleep for awhile. And that was pretty much our weekend, other than being sick (and I still don't really know why I got sick like that), it was a pretty good one. I'm not sure we'll make it to the movies or ice skating next week either because I've heard rumors that we are meeting Turk and Styles for dinner at a Mexican food restaurant, the Flying Fajita Sisters, in Sydney and then maybe heading out to a karaoke bar with them and another friend. I will not be putting my SingStar skills to use, I promise!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Comfortably Numb

I've been writing about babies, movies, recipes, and TV shows lately because there aren't a lot of adventures going on at the moment in my life so bare with me. I hope it gets exciting, in a positive way(do not want or need drama, so please karma/fate/God/whatever, don't thinkI'm asking for that at all), sometime soon because A) I'm bored out of my fucking mind at the moment and B) Then I might have something of interest to write about again.
Anyway, until then here's another recommendation for a TV show: Nurse Jackie. Have you guys been watching it? I downloaded the first episode on Tuesday on a whim and the next night downloaded the next 7 episodes because I had liked the first one so well. To me it seems like real life in a hospital; it's not pretty, it's gritty. They've made Edie Falco look so rough and manly, it's hard for me to imagine her as Carmela Soprano like this (which is probably a good thing and probably what they are going for). It's like House in that the lead character works in a hospital and is addicted to pain pills, but there's none of the misdiagnosis then good diagnosis cycle that has become a bit tedious on House. It's people coming in and living or dying from stab wounds, falling off of skateboards, heart failure, etc. Nurse Jackie also cares about her patients way more than Dr. House ever has. If you do end up watching it, which I highly recommend that you do(This is how good it is: Boyfriend was in the other room working today and listening to me yelling at the laptop "No, no, no" and laughing so he had to pop his head in to see what was going on. I can't help it, I am so sucked in!) look out for Jackie's nurse-in-training, Zoey. Her awkwardness in new situations is me spot on. I'm cuter and can be a bitch and I'm not that way 24/7 so I'd like to think I'm not AS annoying as the other characters seem to find her at first, but just thought I should tell you all that that's what I'm really like. I'm only cool on the internet ;D I mean I even get that awkward around Boyfriend and the people in our group sometimes and I know them well...My name is Lil D and I am a social retard! So yeah, check out Nurse Jackie if you get a chance, it's way better than anything we are getting on Aussie TV at the moment!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dignity and Money

So here's a question: If you had a few people over to hang out for the night and you went and got cheap take away together (let's say under $10 a head, the total bill is less than $25) and you put it on your card; would you follow up the next day with people to pay you back if they had forgotten the night before? It's a one time thing, your friends normally pay their own way.

I'm unemployed and I still wouldn't follow up with 2 people over a total of $14. Is this just me?

Monday, July 20, 2009

In My Life I Love You More

Boyfriend comes from a huge, huge family. After 4.5 years of dating I am still meeting new cousins at every big family gathering that is held. His Dad is the oldest of 5 children and there are 13 cousins, as well as another 6-7 boyfriends and girlfriends of cousins, and about 6 children of cousins. On his Mom's side there are at least 11 cousins and stepcousins, who knows how many boyfriends/girlfriends/spouses, and like another 6 children of cousins. They are also really close to their extended families on both sides as well....great aunts, second cousins, all that.

I come from a really small family. I had 3 uncles, two who have passed away, and none of them were ever married. Nae and I were the only grandchildren on either side. We didn't have any cousins and we didn't have a lot of contact with our uncles growing up. It would've been nice to have cousins, and I think that's why I think of all the kids in our travel group as my cousins, but I don't really understand the bond that exists between "real" cousins. Anyway, when I first started dating Boyfriend and I had to go to the first couple of family gatherings I was really overwhelmed. Both sides are so loud and happy and friendly and there were just so many names to remember! I'm better now but for along time I would get anxious when I knew we were headed over to Nan and Pop's for a party because big crowds stress me out. Now I'm part of the group and am just as loud and chatty as any of them and feel some sympathy when a new boyfriend or girlfriend is first brought around, remembering how scary it all is!

This weekend was Nan and Pop's 60th wedding anniversary. We headed around to their place on Sunday night for a bbq and it was a really fun night. Once again, I met two new cousins and 3 new cousins' children and they were all really nice. There was good food, singing and dancing along to MJ's Thriller from one of Boyfriend's aunts, a beauty shop was set up by one of the little second cousins and ALL of the boy cousins, as well as her grandpa, great grandpa, great uncles, and great grandma got their hair done by her! Boyfriend's Mom got her hair AND makeup done. My hair was done up in the hottest side ponytail for the night and it was cute to sit and talk to this 9 year old about what was going on in her life. She and her sister were such loving little girls, once they had a quick chat with you they weren't shy about coming back to talk to you some more and they loved to give hugs.

At every big event, Pop likes to give a speech and this occassion was no different. He told about the history of how he and Nan had gotten together and gotten married and a little bit about their early married years. He talked about how much he loved everyone there and how proud he was of his family and about how he loved Nan so much. Their daughter was in the kitchen washing up and listening and was crying the whole time and said after the speech she wished she had someone like her Dad as a husband. Then Boyfriend's Mom and other aunt went to hug her and they started crying. Then Boyfriend's Dad got up, as the oldest child, and said a little speech about how glad all the kids were to have Nan and Pop as their parents and how they were grateful to them for always supporting the kids in everything they did. He got choked up about halfway through then just about everyone was crying with him! It was the sweetest thing. Then someone made a joke about how this was a happy occassion so what was with all the tears and everyone laughed and it went back to normal.

All in all it was a really great night. When we got home and were lying in bed, I said to Boyfriend that I hope someday we'll get a 60th anniversary party like that with all our family surrounding us and he made some joke and I was like, I was trying to be serious. So then he turns over and says to me that he wouldn't mind at all being with me for the next 60 years. I thought that was so sweet, but Boyfriend, being Boyfriend, then had to be cheeky and add that 61 years was probably his limit!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

American Pie

I baked a pie the another night. Not an Aussie pie, a real American chicken pot pie and damn, it was delicious! Boyfriend said it was as good, if not better, than any pie he had ever gotten at Starbucks and I take that as a compliment because the boy likes his pies. I think he ended up eating half of the pie in one sitting, and it wasn't your typical small pot pie, it was in a pie tin so it was pretty big. It was really simple to make- the hardest part is just chopping all the vegetables! Another perfect, hearty meal for a cold wintery night.

Chicken Pot Pie
2 Large Cooked Chicken Breasts, lightly seasoned with your favorite chicken seasonings, and cut in to small chunks
1 Teaspoon of Celery Salt
1 Teaspoon of Garlic Salt
1/2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 Large Stalk of Celery, chopped in to small pieces
1 Large Carrot, chopped in to small pieces
2 Smallish Potatoes, chopped in to small pieces
1/4 of a Brown Onion, chopped in to small pieces
3-4 Tablespoons of Butter or Margerine
1 Can of Cream of Chicken Condensed Soup (We used the cheapo Aldi one and it worked great)
2 Ready Made Pie Crusts (Pillsbury or whatever you prefer back home or we used 2 Coles Shortcrust Pastry Sheets)
Pie Tin
Large Bowl
Cooking Spray

Melt enough butter/margarine in a pan to saute all of your veggies in (this may require more or less butter/margarine so you be the judge). Allow the vegetables to cook until they are soft and have reduced to about half of their original size. Sprinkle with pepper, celery salt, and garlic salt. Remove from pan and pour in to large bowl. Pour chicken chunks in with veggies. Pour can of soup on top. Mix all of the ingredients together so that all the veggies and chicken chunks are well coated in the soup. Put in the refrigerator for an hour or I put our mixture in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425F. While the mixture is cooling down, spray your pie tin with cooking spray and then press your pie crust in to the tin. Once the mixture is cool, pour in to the pie crust. Place the second pie crust on top and scrunch on to the bottom crust to join the two crusts. Poke some holes or slits in the top of the crust so that steam can escape. Place in the over and bake at 425F for about 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325F for another 15-20 minutes. Pie is done when the crust is a golden brown and the inside mixture can be seen bubbling up through the holes/slits. If you notice your pie crust edges starting to burn, but the rest is not quite done, simply put foil over the sections that are burning and this will keep it from further burning.

Party Like a Rockstar

Boyfriend, like me, is an energy drink FREAK. For awhile there, he was having 2 a day everyday, but then when he went in for his scuba course's doctor's examination he learned he has slightly high blood pressure and figured 2 energy drinks a day weren't helping that. And I was just as bad; I used to drink between 1-2 sugar free Rockstars everyday while working at the surfshop. When I moved out here I was disappointed in the taste, variety, and size of the energy drinks available. We went to this one concert series called "Rockstar Presents the Taste of Chaos Tour" in Sydney the first year after I moved here and we were all excited to have some Rockstar at the show because if they were sponsoring it, they must also be selling their product at the show, right? Wrong!
After visiting California for the first time, Boyfriend was blown away by the variety of energy drinks we carried....Rockstar, Monster, Lost...and the flavors...punch, cola, random, different coffee flavors, that it was a let down to rely on "V" and RedBull once we got back here. Last year we noticed Coles was finally carrying RockStars: my favorite the sugar free, the regular and a juice one. We went nuts at first and bought one for everyday of the week. Those were what Boyfriend had been drinking 2x daily when he had to slow down for fear of a heart attack.
Just yesterday we went to our local Coles which is pretty small and known for its lack of variety when Boyfriend started pointing at an endcap. There were cans of Monster Energy Drink! We went down the soda aisle and there was the regular, sugar free, and then two other flavors that I didn't orange one and a yellow one I think. Anyway, we immediately loaded up our basket with about $15 worth of energy drinks. Boyfriend said he had been waiting for this moment to start drinking energy drinks again. I had my sugar free one at the family bbq last night and it was like sweet heaven on my lips!

Haha, anyway, a dumb thing to post about, I know, but just thought I'd let other energy drink aficionados out there know that Monster is in Australia now and there is something totally comforting about seeing a familiar product on the shelves here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You're Hot then You're Cold

I love to cook, I love to bake, I love to watch cooking shows, and I love Top Chef so it was no surprise to anyone when I immediately became hooked on Master Chef. I wondered what Channel 10 would put out because this time of year was usually reserved for Big Brother. Master Chef is so much better! For those back in the States, it is pretty much like Top Chef except they use amateur chefs and the show is on every night except for Saturdays. Sorry for those of you in other countries, I don't know what your equivalents would be.

Anyway, this Sunday will mark the finale (called a grand final here, whatever, finale is better) and the person I wanted to win, Justine (the blonde in the picture above), got eliminated last night. It was really nice for her though because the judges were sad to see her go and she had all these celebrity chefs wanting her to work for them. Matt Moran even came to her house and asked her if he could be her mentor!

The first person on the right is Julie. I swear they want her to win because they said her cake wasn't that good last night, but she did do the full presentation of it, and she was in the top two. She has a face like a smacked ass in my opinion. Make a little "O" with your mouth, where your lips are pursed up right under your nose and talk like that; you are now talking like Julie. She gets all nervous and shakey and sweaty whenever there is a challenge. She just doesn't seem like a head chef to me and she is pretty hit or miss with her dishes so I don't see why she is still on. I hope she doesn't win, but if she does, she's from near me and I'll go check out her restaurant since I do like homey style food like she tends to make.

Next to her is Sam. I had to look up his name and he's only been off a week if that tells you anything. He seemed kinda sleazy to me and it was weird because he had no idea what kind of restaurant he'd want to open if he won and that was coming out at the end of the competition.

Next is Chris. I'm surprised he's not wearing his hat. He's always got it on with his greasy hair poking out from underneath it. I think he'll win. I don't really like him as a character, but he does make some good and interesting food.

Next is Justine, who I already talked about.

Then Andre, he got the boot last week. He was the hottest on the show. I saw an interview of Sacha Baron Cohen on David Letterman last week done as himself and not Bruno and it was freaky how much Andre looks like him!

There's one more person, besides Julie and Chris in the top three who is not pictured: Poh. Boyfriend really likes her, but then again he has a thing for Asian women (when you read this Babe, you totally do!) so I think that's the reasoning behind that. She seems flakey and also she has been giving major bitch face to other competitors this week like when Justine made top 2 on the Malaysian challenge...ugh, I did not like that at all! She must not like Justine in general because when Justine was in a challenge against a celebrity chef, the other contestants (who aren't competing) normally helped their fellow competitor to try and beat the celeb, but Poh noticed Justine had missed something and didn't try and help her with it. She should play nicer and I hope she doesn't win, though she does have really cute dress style!

Oh how I wish we had Tivo! It's finally made it to Aus but it is waaaay too expensive for us for now. We will be at a family bbq for Boyfriend's grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary Sunday night so I'm totally going to miss the finale!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Watch the World

So I got this new hidden counter thingy for the blog so I can track how many people a day come and read my stuff (and believe me some days it is only me on here!) and one of the cool features of it is it shows me what countries my readers are coming from. There were lots of hits from inside Australia and from the States, a few from the UK, one from Canada, one from Thailand, one from Vietnam, one from Singapore, and most surprising of from Saudi Arabia!! I thought that was pretty neat and wonder how on earth that person found my site.

I would love to hear from all the people who stop in and check this thing out. Where you are from, how old you are, what brought you to my blog, any questions you have for me. Even if you see this post months after I've written it, please drop me a comment. I would love to get to know my readers :)

On the home front: it was Mom's birthday last week so here's a belated birthday shout out: Happy Birthday Mom! Nae has been very sick for the past few weeks. At first she thought it was Mono again but then she started getting Meningitis like symptoms so she went in to Urgent Care and it turns out she's got something called Red Node Syndrome and it is so rare (it didn't even come up in my google search) that the Doctor on call had never seen it in real life before and he called in another Doctor so he could see it in real life, too! The Syndrome happens mostly to people in their 20s and piggy backs on to another illness and then basically the nodes or something attack your body and you swell up all over the place and get covered in bruises. Nae says she has bruises on the bottom of her feet even that make it very painful for her to stand/walk. Mom says she looks like an 80 year old walking around and is worried about her, especially because she won't take time off and rest as the Doctors have suggested.

Boyfriend and I are both run down with a cold/the flu...I have no idea how you tell the difference, though it feels bad to think we're feeling bad right now compared to what Nae is going through.
We are both on the hunt for jobs now as Boyfriend's company has laid off everyone and their last day will be at the end of the month. They are a tight knit little company and Boyfriend is sad to be leaving it and nervous about finding a job. Despite my college degree and despite putting in resumes at all types of places (hardware stores, discount stores, grocery stores, book stores, schools, daycares, etc) I have still not heard back from a single place for even an interview. Boyfriend's aunt suggested I try tutoring and it sounds so obvious but something I hadn't thought to do before (at least independently, I had looked in to tutoring companies but couldn't find anything local) so I called the local schools to see if I could get in to their weekly newsletters advertising my services but they don't let you do that so I'm thinking about taking out ads in the local papers. Schools are out for 2 weeks right now for the End of Term Holidays so I'm thinking I should wait until the first week they are back to advertise. Other than that we are the proud parents of 17 teeny tiny bananas and I think those numbers will grow over the next few weeks. I'm also still hoping to do another picture post or two from our trip to the Sand Dunes and also hopefully some shots from our last trip to California. I just have to get them from Boyfriend.
I hope you're having a good day wherever you are!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baby Love

Haha, this site has not turned in to a baby blog, I swear, but I just had to post that Boyfriend and I went over to Bob Marley's and LC's today to meet baby Lo. She is so tiny and so perfect. She's not smooshy looking like most newborns are and she has so much hair already and her hair has little high lights in it, as if she's been to the salon. Babies, especially, really tiny babies make me nervous. Junior, the Farmer and Tinkerbell's son, is 1 now and he's hearty enough that I feel confident in picking him up and playing with him because I don't feel like one wrong move and I'll break him. He also is starting to talk and trying to stand and maybe walk on his own; he seems to have missed out on the crawling stage, but he does do the funniest scootch across the floor! He is such a fun and cute little guy. Little Lo is not even 7 pounds yet so she makes me nervous, but I did end up sitting with her in a big comfy chair today for about 20 minutes and ended up loving it. What a little miracle! It was nice to sit with her and watch her sleep and talk to LC about how the first week has gone while Bob Marley and Boyfriend chatted about manly things. Anyway, it was nice to see our friends and to meet the new addition. I can't wait to see how all the groups' kids will eventully get on (or not) and interact together as they get older. I wonder if they will all be friends? Will any of them date or have crushes on each other? Will they grow up feeling like cousins? Will they continue on from our group to form their own? Will any of them fall in love and get married? So many possibilities!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Great Golden Baby

She's here! LC and Bob Marley became the proud parents of a baby girl at 8:40 Monday night! She will be known as Lo on here and she weighed in at 6lbs120z. I can't wait to see her. LC had to go to Gosford Hospital instead of our local one so I have no way to get down and see her. I wish I could, though. Hopefully she will be home this Friday and Boyfriend and I can drop in and see them. LC had also requested I bring her some cookies when I see her so I'll have to whip up a batch before we head over.
I'm wondering if Friday night will be Bob Marley's night to "Wet the Baby's Head"? Do we have a tradition like that in the States? Basically the father of the new baby gets to go out with all his guy friends and family and get drunk or at least have a few at the pub. It's just basically a night to celebrate the Dad since they don't typically get involved with the baby shower and it's to wish the baby a good life, I think.
I sent LC a message of Congratulations when she had texted us all that the baby had been born, but I haven't messaged or called since. I don't know if I'm supposed to? I don't want to disturb her if she is sleeping or if she has guests. I'm not sure how soon after you have a baby you go home or if she's still at the hospital? She also needs time to adjust to the reality that she really does have a baby so I don't want to bother her during the settling in period, but I also don't want her to think that I'm not thinking about her and wanting to see her and the little one.
Anyway, Congratulations again to her and Bob Marley!! Now there are two sets of parents in the group and it won't be that long until we've got 3...crazy!

I'm Chiquita Banana and I've Come to Say

We've got baby bananas growing in our backyard! Near the clothes line out back has is a banana tree (not technically true, but whateves) and it's always just been a mass of leaves, but last week as I was hanging out the laundry I noticed it had a big red-ish, purple-ish flower on it. One of the flower petals had fallen off to reveal 6 tiny bananas. When I went out to check on them today, there are now 12 baby bananas and some are still being hidden by the petals of the big flower! I hope that they grow and ripen, though I'm worried because it has been pretty cold and windy around here the past few days and I'm sure it's only bound to get colder. Anyway, these little guys brought some brightness to my day so I thought I'd share the first pictures of

Monday, July 6, 2009

Spice It Up

(I hope Stephanie over at doesn't mind that I copied her ingredient picture idea!)

Another cold night here north of Sydney. Boyfriend had said last week that he would like soup again this week so I agreed to make some tonight. (Shoot, I should totally post my recipe for Homemade Tomato Basil Soup, too!) I had tried this soup one night back home with Mom and Dad. I found it on a blog about Trader Joe's recipes and it is super simple to make and tastes really good. I've already been having sips out of the pot waiting for Boyfriend to get home and this version, although different from the one I made for Mom and Dad, is really tastey, too. I hope he likes it!

Chicken Albondigas Soup...aka White Girl Mexican Chicken Meatball Soup

The Trader Joe's recipe is basically a box of their organic chicken broth, a jar of fresh salsa, and a pack of their precooked frozen chicken meatballs. All you do is throw everything in a pot together and let it simmer. It is that easy!

To bad we don't have Trader Joe's here but this recipe is pretty much just as easy:

-Premade meatballs
(or I made my own using 500g of chicken mince, some bread crumbs, onion powder, minced garlic, salt, pepper, and one egg and mixed together and formed in to balls).
-Cook the meatballs/chicken balls if they are not precooked.
-In a large pot, add one box (I think these are equivalent to 4 cups) of chicken stock.
-Add one jar of salsa (I used Aldi's organic Medium salsa, the fresh stuff is better, but I don't think I've ever seen fresh salsa here and I'm too lazy to make my own).
-Add your meatballs/chicken balls and let simmer.
-I added a little bit of celery salt, more pepper, some chili powder to give it more spice, and some water as I thought it was pretty salty. Keep adding water and spices until you get your desired taste.
-I didn't have any, but this would be even better with some cilantro (aka coriander for those in Aus) and you could probably also throw some rice or corn. I'm running low on tortillas from the great Sydney Mexican take away place and on those I brought from CA so we aren't having tortillas with this, but it would be really nice and make it feel even more like a full on Mexican dinner.

Hope you enjoy! I can't wait to have this in a few and then again for breakfast/lunch tomorrow!

Neighbours, Everybody Needs Good Neighbours

So there's another ridiculous show that I'm addicted to. It's Australian and it's on every week night for a half hour. It's called Neighbours and it's been on TV here for a good 20 years. It's a soap opera and the acting is pretty horrible. The likes of Kylie Minogue have come from this show to give you an idea of the quality of "talent" they have on. The above cast photo was taken maybe a year ago and all the crossed off people have left the show since then. It is a revolving door on Ramsey Street (where the show is based).

Just from the last week the problems that have presented themselves include: a mom wanting to be a surrogate mother for her own daughter, the hospital denying the surrogacy, the local paper picking up on the surrogacy and ridiculing the family, the brother of the husband of the woman who's mother would be her surrogate all of a sudden has a huge gambling problem that he is hiding from his live-in girlfriend, while also coveting the motor-cycle riding, mechanic chick that works for him. The woman who would be the surrogate has a step son, who's father and mother have died, sister has moved to London, and half sister is running from the law, and not only is he hiding post traumatic stress, he is also in love with a girl he's known for about 2 months. The chick he is in love with is a Korean exchange student, but she has a full Australian accent and only jabbers (not racist, that's what they make it seem like) in Korean when she is flustered. She is supposed to be naive to all things Aussie, but she seems naive to all things in general, like what love feels like and I swear to God she is so awkward and doesn't know how to act at all around people her age (as a character) and (as a real person) she doesn't know how to act at all. That's her in the picture below. The live-in girlfriend of the gambler/cheater has some cousins who are all of a sudden living on the street after her Dad went to visit their Mom (his half sister) and she fell in to some traffic and died and now the kids are parentless. There is also a couple that is 17/18 and married and she just gave birth to their first kid in a tent at a music festival. They are living with her Mom and Dad, his Mom, her little cousin, and some random guy who works at the corner store in a house that looks like it has 2 bedrooms and they are all happy and loving it...The baby screams all night? No problem! And why is the creepster old guy from the store living with them anyway?

Did you follow along with all that? If I lived on this street and all that started going on around me I'd sell my house as soon as possible! No one there is happy or has a very nice life. There are also rapes and plane crashes that have happen, people have died from burns suffered in a forest fire, and babies have gotten mixed up at birth and gone to the wrong family. They go on and on about how awesome Ramsey Street is, but I think everyone there is batshit crazy.

Nothing gives me more pleasure than sitting with Boyfriend at 6:30 on Friday nights (the only night he's home in time for it) and yelling about how bad the acting is and how dumb the story lines are.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My Country Tis of Thee

So it's 4th of July...a day where if I was back home, I'd be bbqing, drinking, hanging out at the beach, lighting sparklers and watching really awesome firework displays. Instead, Boyfriend and I celebrated the day by hanging out in doors mostly because it was just so darn freezing around here. We did make it out just before sunset to feed the ducks and walk along the lake before finding a nice bench along the water to sit and watch the sunset. We didn't even have anything traditional this year for dinner or dessert...we had Thai food. Last year I at least made us all strawberry shortcake for dessert, but this year I didn't have the money for all the ingredients and just didn't feel like it. I guess this posting will be an ode to all things American I'm missing on this day.

I'm missing warm summer weather. I'm missing the smell of hot dogs (not snags) and hamburgers grilling on the bbq. I'm missing our annoying radio djs playing marathons of the greatest classic rock songs. I'm missing seeing people running around in american flag bikinis or those $5 4th of July shirts that Old Navy brings out every year (so white trash, yet so American). I am missing seeing our flag flying in general. I'm missing Taco Bell and Carl's Jr and In-N-Out and Rubios and Pick-Up Stix. I'm missing good sushi rolls. I miss Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Cheese-its. I miss being able to ask for a lemonade and being brought lemon, water, and sugar rather than a Sprite. I miss cake mix that costs $1 on special rather than $4. I miss choice at the grocery store. I'm missing being able to use coupons at the grocery store so I can shop for everything I need for a reasonable price. I miss Trader Joe's and Safeway. I miss having a car to drive around in. I miss the sounds of the sea lions barking at the warf. I miss the view from my parents' deck. I miss the lemon tree in the back yard and the deep jacuzzi to soak in. I miss the smell of the chapparal and sea air mixing together. I miss the scary sound of the coyotes at night and the soothing sound of the owls calling to each other. But most of all I miss my family. I miss the teasing I received from my Dad and Nae. I miss my Mom nagging me to get my butt out of bed and go with her on a beach walk. I miss dinners with them. I miss going to farmers' markets with them. I miss just hanging out and talking their ears off. I miss being able to see them face to face. I miss laying in bed with them and watching tv. I miss cooking for them. I miss them PERIOD (not full stop like they say here, period, damnit)!

Mom's birthday is this week, too, and Nae's is exactly a month after. I hate missing their birthdays. I've sent them presents, but wish I could be there with them on their special days. I haven't seen them in about 5 months now and if all goes to plan, I won't be seeing them for another 5 months. That is a really sad pill to swallow, but it's not all doom and gloom. I'm here with Boyfriend and I've got wonderful friends here to see me through my down days. I've just got to think positively and be thankful for the things I do have in my life right now.

Just as an update from around here, too: LC is more than a week overdue now and will be induced on Sunday afternoon/Monday morning and I am bursting with excitement to meet her baby! Even seeing her belly all the time, I still don't feel like the baby is real so it will be so different when she is finally here. I'm praying for LC, Bob Marley, and the Baby that they have a safe, healthy, and speedy delivery. I'm wondering what I will call the baby on here...I'm thinking "Lo" as she is LC's sidekick on The Hills (where I get the LC from, as me and LC love that trash and is one of the things we first bonded over)?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Funky Chicken

Check out the above link to make a very easy and very yummy chicken dish in your crockpot. The picture is not mine, but comes from the site, as mine looked a bit like throw up, but believe me the taste is the opposite of that. Haha, I'm not sure I'm selling this right but it's really, really good. It's called cream cheese chicken and we're having it for dinner tonight. I'm serving it over mashed potatoes. You can see the original author of the recipe did it over pasta and I think it would make a tastey dip with chips or crackers. Another person commented on the crockpot blog that they use this chicken dish as their filling for enchiladas and then just add the salsa and cheese. Boyfriend isn't home from work yet (it's nearly 9pm and he leaves at 5:30a.m. to give you a picture of how long his day is) but this dish smells so good so I've had to do a few taste tests along the way ;) I'll give you the recipe below that I did and be sure to check out the crockpot blog for this recipe and many other awesome and easy recipes.

Cream Cheese Crockpot Chicken

2 Chicken Breasts
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
2 Tablespoons of Minced Garlic
1 Tablespoon of Sugar (yep, sugar)
Couple of cracks of pepper (you know, just chk-chk the thing a few times)
Couple of cracks of sea salt
1 Teaspoon of Celery Seed
1 Tablespoon of Onion Powder
2 Tablespoons of Italian Herbs
Half of a round container of Phili Cream Cheese, the regular, not large size, or about half a stick of Phili, the regular size

Throw the chicken breasts in to the crockpot frozen. Cover with all the dry ingredients and then dump the can of soup over it. Cook on low for 5-8 hours until you can pull the chicken apart with two forks. A half an hour before you want to serve this dish, dump in the cream cheese and make sure it melts and mixes in with the rest of the sauce. Serve it over whatever you feel like! Depending on what you like/where you live, this might be a little too hearty to eat right now in summer weather, but here in Aus it is perfect on a cold night like tonight!